Monday, May 19, 2008

Bedford Village: 2008 Chefs Invitational Series

The Bedford Village Inn & Restaurant is hosting their 2008 Chefs Invitational Series, six months of fine dining events presided over by six distinguished chefs.

For the past eight years, their Chefs Invitational Series have showcased a roster of highly acclaimed chefs representing an eclectic range of cooking styles. This year’s chefs will prepare recipes spanning Cajun to French to Mediterranean-Asian influences. The inn’s eight dining rooms typically offer New England cuisine.

From June through November, one guest chef per month will join Bedford Village's Executive Chef Peter Agostinelli in the elegant Overlook Room for four-course, $85 prix fixe dinners with wines culled from the inn’s Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning cellar. Menus are available online.

Here is the schedule of Chefs.

June 19: Jason Tucker, Executive Chef, Tresca
Tucker brings considerable experience and versatility to this two-year-old Italian restaurant owned by Boston Bruins hockey legend Ray Bourque. A self taught chef with a degree in English Literature from Skidmore, Tucker left the world of words behind to pursue his love of food. He helped Todd English launch his Figs concept, then worked as sous chef for five years at the intimate and acclaimed Trattoria Scalinatella in Boston’s North End. At Tresca, Jason’s menu spans the regions of Tuscany, Marche, Sicily, Sardinia and more, blending traditional Italian recipes with modern technique, while vintage Italian wines are poured. Pastas are handmade and fish is fresh from east coast waters.

July 31: Chef Renee Bajeux, Executive Chef, La Provence in Lacombe, Louisiana
Bajeux is one of the 50 French Master Chefs in the U.S., as designated by the prestigious Maitre Cuisinier de France fraternity. Raised on a farm in France, he earned a culinary degree, then fulfilled his mandatory military service as a cook in the French navy, and made his way to America via Montreal. He worked at two renowned Four Seasons properties, in Hawaii and in Beverly Hills, before moving to New Orleans in 1997 to take command at The Windsor Court Hotel’s Grill Room. In 2001, Bejeux opened René Bistrot, a haven of authentic French cooking in downtown New Orleans. Esquire Magazine named it among its “Best New Restaurants.” Last year, Bajeux took over the kitchen of La Provence, a dining destination that’s been well worth the hour’s drive from New Orleans since 1971. Its menu reflects old world techniques and earthy ingredients. It is the perfect showcase for Bejeux’s talent and agricultural background. This chef understands terroir cooking and believes that chefs should be physically connected to the food they serve.

August 14: Kurtis Jantz, Executive Chef, Neomi's at Trump International Hotel in Miami, Florida
Jantz was born in Japan, raised in Germany, and received his culinary degree in Kansas. His earliest job was in a restaurant specializing in game, where he cooked with exotic meats procured from around the world. Soon after, Jantz took off for years of globe-hopping and backpacking, working in kitchens in Switzerland, the Antilles islands and finally at The Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans. In 2003, he was named Executive Chef at Trump International Hotel in Miami. Jantz’s menu is a composite of his travels, his technical experiments, and his ventures in ethnic cuisine. This year, Jantz was awarded the "Rising Star Hotel Chef" award for South Florida.

September 18: Donald Link, Chef-Owner, Cochon and Herbsaint in New Orleans, Louisiana
Some of the most favored dishes in all of N’awlins – simple yet innovative and true to their roots -- come from Link’s kitchen at Herbsaint, which he opened after study and a brief stint on the west coast. Inspired as a child by his grandfather's Louisiana cooking, Link has operated out of the city’s Warehouse District since 2000. Two years ago, Link opened Cochon, an authentic Cajun/Southern restaurant featuring the foods and cooking techniques that he grew up making and eating. In 2007, The James Beard Foundation named Link "Best Chef: South" and nominated Cochon for "Best New Restaurant."

October 16: Matthew Levin, Executive Chef, Lacroix at the Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
With a degree from the CIA in hand, Levin began his career by training under some of the finest chefs in Philadelphia (including Georges Perrier), before moving on to work in such distinguished restaurants as New York’s Aureole and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. In 2006, Levin joined the Lacroix kitchen, where he combines Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Japanese and American flavors to create his own wordly infusion. Shortly after Levin's arrival, The Philadelphia Inquirer awarded Lacroix’s cuisine a rare four bells rating. Lifestyle Magazine named Levin among the region's best chefs, and Philadelphia Style named him one that city's “Hot Chefs 2007.”

November 14: Lorenzo Polegri, Chef-Owner, Zeppelin in Orvieto, Italy
A self-taught chef inspired by the historical cuisine and agricultural traditions of Italy, Polegri learned about the relationship between farmers and consumers by running his family’s farm and vineyard. Before becoming a chef, he managed a national farmers' trade union, and led courses in production, economics and marketing for other farmers. In 1990, Polegri jumped into the restaurant business with his first place, Funky, in Orvieto’s old town center. A few years later, he opened Wunderbar Café. After gaining a bit more varied cooking experience in Greece, Polegri returned to Orvieto in 1995 and opened Zeppelin in a 16th century building there. The cuisine is local yet experimental. In 2000, Polegri and his wife opened Instituto di Arte Culinaria Marchesa Adele Viti, a school where he teaches the cooking techniques and food traditions of Orvieto.

For reservations and more information, call the Bedford Village Inn at 800-852-1166 or 603-472-2001 or visit them online.

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